NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, September 7, 2022: Liverpool's substitute Arthur Melo during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. Napoli won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arthur’s agent defends “unlucky” midfielder’s loan spell

Arthur’s agent has spoken out about his client’s time at Liverpool, admitting it has been a tricky stint on Merseyside for the Brazilian.

Arthur joined the Reds on loan from Juventus on the final day of the summer transfer window, but has only racked up 13 minutes of first-team football in an injury-plagued spell with the club.

The 26-year-old has been sidelined since October with an ankle injury, recently returning to full fitness and being named among the substitutes in Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.

His agent, Federico Pastorello, has commented on what has been a difficult season for the midfielder, describing his client as “unlucky”.

ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 20, 2022: Liverpool's Arthur Melo during the English Football League Trophy Northern Group D match between Rochdale AFC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Spotland. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The last day of the transfer market arrived, he paid for the season in which he played little at Juventus, he was integrating and had an annoying injury for which he had to operate,” Pastorello told Tuttomercatoweb.

“It was three months of injury, he made his second bench, I hope he can at least give his contribution. I think he’ll come back from the loan and then we’ll see what to do.”

The quotes come during a season in which fans have grown frustrated with Arthur’s lack of availability within the side.

Fitness issues were cited as a concern when the Juventus loanee was brought to the club, and the fears were soon validated after surgery kept Arthur out of action for over four months.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, September 12, 2022: Liverpool's Arthur Melo during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The loan agreement with Juventus included an option to make the deal permanent for a fee of around €37.5 million, but it will come as little surprise to supporters that he is expected to depart Anfield in the summer.

The signing was made after supporters spent an entire summer calling for midfield reinforcements, and after failing to land Aurelien Tchouameni the club decided against spending big in that area.

Arthur was viewed as a low-risk and perhaps temporary alternative, with a loan fee of around €4.5 million enough to secure his services for the 2022/23 campaign.

With a season-ending injury to Stefan Bajcetic and a timescale for Thiago‘s full return still unclear, Liverpool will be hoping Arthur can add to his sole appearance and provide the Reds with an option between now and May at the very least.